Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

True Grid Response

Filed under: Uncategorized — d3b-432 @ 9:19 PM

An Excerpt from "Aisle 13" in response to True Grid Example:

As I started walking toward customer service in the front of the store I noticed something odd. “Captain Ahab” was stocking jellies and jams. At about the same time I had that thought an employee approached this man.
“Billy. You shaved. What do you call this look? Is this a ‘Captain Ahab’, or maybe it is called ‘Tug Boat Pilot’?”
“No. I just like kissing my girlfriend, and the mustache was getting in the way. It isn’t a ‘look’.”
As I walked by this Ahab, I considered Moby Dick and proceeded toward Customer Service. I had just read Moby Dick this past winter and was more than a little obsessed with it.
What was it to be aboard a ship headed by a madman whose motives were indecipherable? The ship sought oil, but the captain sought something more and stranger than revenge. He sought destruction of truth. He had been blackened by some kind of fire that scarred him from crown to soul and because of that he sought to destroy the essence of life? His only discernable goal was to destroy the sacred animal of his hunting tribe, which in turn would unravel the very fabric of existence.
The truth of the Pequod was isolation. Ishmael said as much. Everyman is an island or isolato or something like that. The only thing today that comes close to speaking to the meaningless alienation on board The Pequod is Radiohead’s body of work.
Radiohead’s whole career has been one of a loosing battle with the idea of meaningless alienation. OK Computer illustrates modernity’s union of plastic, number, and electricity. With Kid A and Amnesiac, one is convinced that the machine is succeeding in destroying humanity’s soul. Hail to the Thief leaves little to no room for redemption. Maybe the thief is Ahab, maybe someone else. “After all it was you and me.” I should say this though, In Rainbows children revivify us.
Meaningless alienation really became symbolically active in the 19th century when the snake in the garden was a locomotive. How does something that unites also divide? Was it literally an  that forced us from the garden? If we looked more closely would we see that “The Tree of Knowledge” was actually an electrical telegraph pole, and our expulsion from the garden is really due to our technology? Or, is something more fundamental the cause? Did we loose something bigger in the garden when we fell (asleep)?
My thoughts returned to Thoreau: “But lo! men have become the tools of their tools.” Radiohead’s response to our modern world then adheres to his notion of art: “The best works of art are the expression of man's struggle to free himself from this condition [slavery], but the effect of our art is merely to make this low state comfortable and that higher state to be forgotten.” We can’t even conceive of a higher state anymore. Our fall occurs everyday in a Wall-Mart.

From this reverie in the garden I awoke to Radiohead’s “Black Star” playing in the background. I walked by the deli and smelled burning toast. Hmmm. Maybe my train of thought was driven by the song in the first place. Probably. Or, maybe my train of thought was driving the music.

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